The return of zatte Rita, bridal bouquet for the Bomma and hot flames for Camille: this was ’30 Years of Family Celebration’ | showbiz

showbizOn Saturday, the fans of ‘Family’ gathered for an unusual soap party atthe Lotto Arena. There, ’30 years of Family Festivities’ was celebrated withthree live shows, good for about 15,000 party people. It turned out to be atwo-hour trip down memory lane with laughter, a tear and, above all, a lot ofmusical fireworks.

See also: this is how Zatte Rita made a one-time comeback: “It was great.”

“Are you looking forward to it?”, Kürt Rogiers (Lars) asked the enthusiasticaudience at the start of the show. Or, Kurt! After all, soap lovers had beenlooking forward to this evening for more than nine months, because it wasinitially planned at the beginning of January, but then had to be postponed bycorona. The show was dominated by the Bomma (Annie Geeraerts), who was allowedto sit on a stately throne. Her 96th birthday was celebrated. The materfamilias in the series has a birthday on December 30, so the timing of theparty seemed a bit strange, but the audience didn’t care. When ‘Long will shelive’ was launched and the fireworks and garlands provided special effects,the cast and the audience sang along without any problems. The tone wasimmediately set: it would be a festive evening.


All members of the current regular cast then popped up on the show. She tookturns to shine. Only Margot Hallemans (Hanne) and Werner De Smedt (Rudi) weremissing, because they had obligations at private parties. The alternating actsfollowed each other in quick succession and mainly created ambiance in theshack. There were the André Hazes medleys by Jef De Smedt (Jan) and RoelVanderstukken (Benny). And the live versions of the various opening lines ofthe series, which led to beautiful harmony vocals. Although there wascertainly room for a laugh. For example, the audience was presented with afunny montage of the nicest bloopers on the set and a lot went wrong with themagic trick of Zjef (Jan Van den Bosch) on the side of Kato (Alix Konadu). Thepublic was also promised a lot of nostalgia in advance and it was given in theform of films. Jo Hens sang Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” on a rundown ofthe series’ most significant deaths. It was remarkable that a loud applauseerupted at the statue of Peter (Gunther Levi). The character died in a housefire last season, but is clearly popular and not forgotten.

(Read more below the photos.)

© Kristof Ghyselinck

KristofGhyselinck© Kristof Ghyselinck

KristofGhyselinck© Kristof Ghyselinck

Sat Rita

The fact that there are a lot of good singing voices among the current cast of’Family’ was proved throughout the entire performance. Especially AaronBlommaert (Raven), Roel Vanderstukken (Benny) and Jo Hens (Niko) excelled onthe vocal level, but Karen Damen (Vanessa), Maarten Cob (Jelle) and YanniBourguignon (Cédric) were certainly able to animate the audience. Thehighlight of the whole gang was public favorite Jacky Lafon, who first tookcare of ‘The Return of Zatte Rita’ during a comic sketch. The audienceresponded enthusiastically with warm applause. And then she still had to singher hit song ‘La Vie en Rose’. Afterwards Jacky said: “On stage I gotgoosebumps. I could barely sing from the emotions. I’m so happy I got to behere. This was such a blessing.” It is not clear whether the performance willcontinue with a comeback in the series. In any case, Jacky hopes so.

deep kiss

Camille provided a strong highlight with her live version of the latestopening song of ‘Family’. A medley of her hits followed. The song ‘Firework’got Amine Boujouh (Brahim) as an extra dance act and ended with hot flames andreal fireworks. Aaron Blommaert (Raven) and Charlotte Sieben (Louise)subsequently signed for a romantic moment. The actor sang the love song’Allemaal door jou’ by Bart Peeters, while a video of all kissing couples fromthe series passed on the large LED screens. When the two TV sweethearts alsokissed each other deeply after the song, it turned out once again that theyare the chouchous of the public at the moment.

Seven carnations

Although Willy Sommers was certainly not inferior to that. In ‘Family’ thesinger has been the absolute favorite artist of the Bomma for years and he wasallowed to rock things three season finals ago with a much-appreciated liveperformance during Benny’s benefit. Annie Geeraerts (Bomma) accepted thebeautiful bridal bouquet from ‘Seven carnations, seven roses’ and theaccompanying kisses from Willy. In ‘Let the Sun in Your Heart’, the entirecast appeared on stage to dance the polonaise. Hands in the air, flickeringcell phone lights, nothing but smiling faces: it turned out to be the perfectapotheosis of the soap party.

(Read more below the photos.)

KristofGhyselinck© Kristof Ghyselinck

KristofGhyselinck© Kristof Ghyselinck

Kristof Ghyselinck© Kristof Ghyselinck

Afterwards, the Bomma thanked the singer, but also the audience: “Thank youfor allowing me to be the Bomma of the largest family in the country. Icouldn’t wish for anything more beautiful. And thank you for letting us comeinto your living room every night.”

To conclude, the ‘Family’ cast present played the closing song ‘We are Family’by Sister Sledge. After which master of ceremonies Kürt Rogiers spoke one lasttime: “Thank you for the past 30 years and see you Monday on TV”. He clearlysent the soap lovers home satisfied. See you next time? Given the largeturnout, perhaps. But there is already good news for those who missed thisparty. ‘Family 30 Year Celebration’ was captured and will be broadcast laterthis year on VTM, although an exact broadcast date has not yet been set.